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Giving

Apr 10, 2008
I really got to say a big 'Thank You' to the person who thought of this quotation which I read many years ago and which I am making it as one of my values in life; "The ability to share and to give yield greater pleasure than to receive." It couldn't be more true for me; when I am able to share something with someone or able to give something to someone, I feel happy and at peace with my inner self. You might be saying, "there is a limit to what we can share and give to other." Naturally, I believe (though I can't think of anything yet at this moment when I am writing this) there are things in life that we cannot share and cannot give to others and yet there are many things in life that we can share and can give - like love, time and money.

Giving, according to dictionary.com, means to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation. You must have already heard more than a thousand times, "the more we give, the more we receive." So to speak, if we want more love for example, we have to give more love to start with. Wait a minute! Didn't you cite from dictionary.com that giving is to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation? I am not contradicting myself, as much as it seems like it. Giving is an act that comes naturally from the heart and goes in harmony with your heart; just like a heartbeat. When you are truly giving, the thought of compensation never comes into the picture.

However, the universe works in a magical way; the more you give without the thought of compensation, the more you receive from the universe. For some, you may see the effect immediately and sometimes the effect may come much later when you least expected it. There are other times the effect may fall on your future generation. Just like the planting of trees - it takes a period of many many years of nurturing from the day when the seedlings are planted to the day when the trees are in full bloom before they can provide shelter and logs. This means that there will be times when you may not see the effect of your giving from the universe in your life time ... but it will come.

"Blessed are those that can give without remembering and take without forgetting." -- Liz Bebesco

"A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle." -- Erin Majors

Yesterday, I read an article writing about marriage and in that article, the author mentioned that his and his wife view their relationships as a 'Saving account' which they deposit regularly and very rarely do they expect to withdraw from it and there will not be any penalties even when they do withdraw from it. I can relate to the analogy given to a large extent. I believe that in relationships, we have to constantly give without expecting compensation and make it works. And yet it is only human nature that when we give, we do expect something in return sometimes. Don't be too hard on yourself or feel guilty about it. No one is perfect in the world. However, we have the ability to learn and to become better everyday.

There are many stories of people giving unconditional love to people around them and I believe you may have heard of some of these stories or have personally seen it before. Such stories are always inspiring and they never failed to inspire you to be a better person. The best examples of giving unconditional love are from our own parents. I remembered a quotation which my friend shared with me years ago,

Unconditional love - it is in the giving that you made the other person realizes." -- Unknown

Giving is often time associated with charity. Dictionary.com defines charity as generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless. I always believe that charity, like giving, should and must be on a voluntarily basis and is an act in harmony with the heart too. There had been successful charity and fund raising shows in Singapore whereby companies and organisation sponsored attractive prizes like condo units, cars, cash prizes etc to lure people to make call to pledge their donations. I must say that their marketing had been more than successful and it did indeed attract a lot of donations from the public and I never doubt their effectiveness. The marketing aspect is needed to create public awareness for the show and the beneficiaries where the donations from the show will go to. The fundamental question is whether such charity shows had distorted the true meaning of giving and charity?

A few years back when I was traveling for work purpose to some developing countries, I always saw children roaming in the streets and threading between cars caught in the traffic begging for money. My heart empathized with them. I was reminded of how fortunate the children of my country are and how fortunate I was in my childhood. Much as I was very tempted to wind down the window to give them a dollar or two, I did not. Why? You may asked. For a very simple reason, I might have done more harm to them than doing them a favor. No doubt the dollar or two will feed them for a day or few days, but I am a strong believer in the preaching that if you teach a man to fish, it will feed the man for life.

If you were to ask me, "How often should we give and when should we give?" I will say, "As often as you can and as often as you want to." As to the question, "When", there is never a better time than now to start giving. Remember that, "a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle," let us be a candle that lights up the lives of other.
About the Author
The author, Boon Kiat Chua is keen on sharing experience, stories & tips in helping people to improve their relationships with family, friends, & people around them. Find inspiring stories at http://www.symphonyoflove.net/blog. Watch 'What is Love' at http://www.symphonyoflove.net/whatislove.html
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